Concept

John Paul Hammerschmidt

Summary
John Paul Hammerschmidt (May 4, 1922 – April 1, 2015) was an American politician from the state of Arkansas. A Republican, Hammerschmidt served thirteen terms in the United States House of Representatives for Arkansas's 3rd congressional district, located in the northwestern quadrant of the state. He served from 1967 until his retirement in 1993. In 1974, a nationally Democratic year, he secured his fifth term by defeating the then 28-year-old Bill Clinton. He was also the first Republican elected to the House of Representatives from Arkansas since Reconstruction. Coincidentally, Hammerschmidt left the House the same month in which Clinton became president. Born in Harrison in Boone County in northwestern Arkansas, Hammerschmidt was the fourth of five children of the former Junie Mildred Taylor and Arthur Paul Hammerschmidt. Both sets of grandparents migrated to Boone County in the early years of the 20th century and were of German descent. He graduated in 1938 from Harrison High School. He attended The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, from 1938 to 1939 and the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville from 1940 to 1941. Hammerschmidt served in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II. In 1942, he joined the 3rd Combat Cargo Group of the U.S. Army Air Corps and served in the China-Burma-India theater until the end of the war in 1945. Hammerschmidt received the Distinguished Flying Cross with three oak leaf clusters for his service in the war. Hammerschmidt returned to the United States and attended Oklahoma A&M College (now Oklahoma State University) in Stillwater, Oklahoma, from 1945 to 1946, having received a Bachelor of Science degree. He then entered the lumber industry, working at the Hammerschmidt Lumber Company, which had been founded by his grandfather, and becoming its president. Hammerschmidt also was president of the Construction Products Company and the Arkansas Lumber Dealers Association and Southwestern Lumberman's Association.
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